It began in a dismal state about a week ago when I recieved the ingredients from northernbrewer. That particular the ambient temp was about 101 degrees, and the 1275 WYeast packet was hot to the touch... So I smacked the pack,no activity after 5 days so I was gonna return it per NB's policy. I hadn't got around to it, and then on the 6th day the thing had fully inflated overnight! So I made a half gallon starter (in a 5 gal carboy lol) to be double sure.
The recipe I came up with only used 2lb of grain so my biggest problem was that about 1/4 of the runnings were below the spigot on my mash tun (which is my bottling bucket for now) A larger batch would be far easier to collect a greater % of the runnings. Next time will be MUCH more grain involved.
I went with about 1.2qts mash water/lb of grain. I missed my mash temp of 155 by about 8 degrees so just added a bit of 170 deg water to raise it. Mashed for 45 min. and sparged with 170 deg water. The sparge got stuch thanks to my subpar collection system consisting of a grain bag with a plastic tube in it, tied around the spigot with a rubber band. I don't want to talk about that...
Again, next time a little more thought, and money, will go into that. The gravity of the mash and spargs runnings was 1.060 and was sticky and smelled sweet so I think it worked.
The boil went well. No boilovers for once, yay! I had never used this many hops (or made an IPA) and the smell was awesome. I think I am officially a hophead. Anyway after the boil I chilled it to 65 in about 15 min with a super cold ice bath and adding 34deg water in the fermenter. My gravity was 1.051 but I've never used that extract before and don't know it's potential. As usual I drank the hydro sample and it was delicious - very hoppy. My starter krausen was just beginning to fall so I decanted the liquid and poured in the yeasties. After about 3 hours they were cooking along and now are still goin about 1bubble/sec.
I listened to the brewing network AG show from a few weeks ago and learned a ton from that one (7-23-06, BTW). Next time I'm gonna copy Rich's PM setup and go to town with maybe 10 lbs of grain.
I forgot to take pics of my mash setup so there are just a few from the boil and my starter. Next mashing setup will be more photo-worthy.